Just Listed in Dundalk

84 Osprey St N, Dundalk

Cozy 2 + 2 Bedroom Brick Bungalow In A Residential Neighbourhood. Very Private Large Yard. Lots Of Mature Trees. Attached Garage. Partially Finished Basement. Gleaming Hardwood Floors.

Virtual tour below.

January Newsletter Featuring Don’t Pay Another Cent in Rent To Your Landlord

The latest version of our HomeMarketWatch Insider newsletter
is now available on our website at:

Each month, we publish a series of articles of interest to
homeowners — money-saving tips, household safety checklists,
home improvement advice, real estate insider secrets, etc.
Whether you are currently in the market for a new home, or not,
we hope that this information is of value to you.  Please feel
free to pass these articles on to your family and friends.

If another person has forwarded this issue to you, and
you would like to subscribe yourself, go to the following link:

This month’s features…

– Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?

– Don’t Pay Another Cent in Rent To Your Landlord
– 10 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Financial Planner

*** THERE’S MORE ON THE WEB… ruthballantyne.com ***

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Happy New Year!


As the year come to a close, I would like to wish you and yours all the best for a Happy and Prosperous New Year


In Scotland New Year is called Hogmanay.  It is a great festive time, seeped in many customs and traditions.  Hogmanay is a bigger celebration than Christmas, especially for adults.   This may stem from the ban on Christmas that existed for 400 years.

Nobody knows for sure where the word “Hogmanay” came from. Opinions differ as to whether it originated from the Gaelic oge maidne (“New Morning”), Anglo-Saxon Haleg Monath (“Holy Month”), or Norman French word hoguinané, which was derived from the Old French anguillanneuf (“gift at New Year)  This is my favorite as it goes well with the Scottish tradition of First Footing. 

Here are some of the Hogmanay traditions:

I can remember my mum furiously cleaning the house for New Year’s Eve to welcome the New Year. It is considered ill luck to welcome in the New Year in an unclean house so the house was made especially pretty on New Year’s Eve.

Another old Scottish tradition at midnight the man of the house would open the back door to let out the old year, then open the front door to let the New Year in.     People would also open the windows to let the old year out. Some Households would make as much noise as possible to scare off the evil spirits and would read the ashes of the last fire of the year to see their luck (like tea leaves) for the New Year.  Scottish people are superstitious and dramatic.

All over Scotland, the tradition is to hold Hogmanay parties  or Ceilidhs (pronounced “Kailey”),  involving singing, dancing, the eating of steak pie or stew, storytelling and consumption of copious amounts of alcohol, which usually extend into the daylight hours of January 1 and maybe the 2nd and 3rd.  The first stroke of the Chimes at the New Year is known as the Bells.  At midnight people link arms and sing Auld Lang Syne.

After the bells, people go out visiting friends and family.  This is called first footing.  Some people carry a gift or a bottle of whiskey.  Traditionally people would carry a lump of Coal to give as a gift to the friends and family signalling prosperity for them in the New Year.  A toast of Lang May Yer Lum Reek (may your fireplace always have smoke- Live long and prosper)  or a Guid New Year to ane an a and mony may ye see (A good new year to one and all and many may you see).

The last time I spent New Year in Scotland we went to a Dance at the Ex Service Mans Club and then the entire family made their way down to Rick’s Gran and Granddad’s house to first foot them.  His Gran was happily waiting for us all with a good few bottles and a big pot of Stovies.  That was the beginning of a week-long New Year’s Party as we first footed every family home.

My Uncle Bobby and Aunt Jean were the New Year’s Day hosts.  Each New Year’s Day we would visit them and enjoy another party with a Steak Pie Dinner, Neeps (Turnip) and Tatties (Potatoes).  There would be another sing song and dance as the celebrations continued. 

Haste ye back, we loue you dearly,

Call again you’re welcome here.

May your days be free from sorrow,

And your friends be ever near.

May the paths o’er which you wander,

Be to you a joy each day.

Haste ye back we loue you dearly,

Haste ye back on friendship’s way.


Andy Stewart –Haste ye Back

Auld Lang Syne – Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne* ?


For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie’s a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.


Lang my yer lum reek!

All the best for a Healthy Happy and Prosperous New Year,  Enjoy it, when it comes.

Merry Christmas!

Sometimes it takes a couple of days to decide what I might write about when it comes time to blog from my heart. This week I started to think about Christmas’s and what I remember and what I have forgotten about the holidays. I do not remember Christmas as a child in Scotland and while researching what to write about I found that Christmas was banned in Scotland for nearly 400 years. In the late 1950’s the ban was lifted and Christmas and the U.K. tradition of Boxing Day again become a Holiday for the Scottish people. We left Scotland in 1965 so there was not a lot of time to get the traditions back.
So I started to look back on what I do remember about my Christmas’s past. When I was 11 I remember lying in bed for an extra-long time on Christmas morning because I did not ask for anything in particular. My parents bought me skis and I was not excited about them. I remember my cousin Janice got skis too. That made it seem not so bad. I could go skiing with Janice. That was until Janice fell and broke her leg and that was the end of my skiing career.
So, this exercise was enlightening. I did not remember the presents. I remembered the people, the feeling of fun and the parties. When I think of Christmas, when I was younger I immediately go to our basement on Fidelia Crescent. I can see a full basement with 3 or 4 8 foot tables. We had an “L” shaped basement and we always had the whole family for Christmas. My dad’s 3 sisters and my mum’s sister all moved to Canada within a few years of us so we had a full family here in Canada. After a few years we had adopted a few friends that were now family and dinner for 30 or 40 was not unusual. I remember turkey, ham and lasagna for dinner. There was dancing, singing, musical instruments and jokes. Everyone had to participate and do their party piece or show your bum out the window.
It was always a great party that went on to the wee hours of the morning. Thinking of those party nights my favourite memories is of my Mum singing. It was an evening favourite when she would sing The Way We Were. It was her party piece. She sang many songs but this was my favourite.
When my parents bought a house in Florida, we spent Christmas in Florida at their house for about 10 years. The parties continued although smaller with many visitors from Canada and Scotland and always a sing song.
I guess it’s funny how things from your childhood make you happy. I love to sing and love a sing song. When I visit my dad we still have one night after dinner that turns into a sing song. We sing all of the old favourites, although neither of us can hit the notes to The Way We Were.
It is funny how things work. I started to think about the song. The words are so true. So I leave you this memory of my Christmas’s past… “Memories, may be beautiful and yet, what’s too painful to remember we simply chose to forget, so it’s the laughter, we will remember, whenever we remember, the way we were The Way We Were.”
Wishing you and your loved ones a Christmas to remember – May your table be full of good food, good company and great memories. Enjoy the day and Merry Christmas to all.

Just Listed! 159 Archdekin Dr, Brampton

Just Listed! 159 Archdekin Dr

Welcome To This Wonderful 3 Bedroom Family Home Centrally Located In A Quiet Neighbourhood. It Features A Combo Lr/Dr With Bright Picture Window & French Doors, Updated Eat-In Kitchen With Walk-Out To Oversize Deck & Huge Yard. All Bedrooms Have Hardwood Floors. Master Bedroom Boasts A Cozy Sitting Area & Large Closet. Finished Basement Complete With Bar, 3 Piece Bath, Large Rec Room & Lots Of Extra Storage! Upgraded Front Door With Automatic Locking Feature.

Lobbying at Queens Park

MPP Linda Jeffery Meets with BREB

Over the past few days I have been involved at the Ontario Real Estate Association’s (OREA) Political Affairs Conference. The Brampton Real Estate Board (BREB) along with the outhe 41 boards across Ontario decended on Queen’s Park and met with 80 MPP’s.

We were there to Ask the MPP’s to amend the Ontario Regjlation 282/98 of the Assesment Act by adding a new tax class for Browndfield Propertis that are “under remediation.” Brownfields classified in this manner would then pay taxes at the same rate as agricultural land or greenfields. This would encourage redeveplopment of these sites.

Our second as was to amend REBBA 2002 to permit a Salesperson or Broker to form a Personal Real Estate Corporation.

In the past few years we have lobbied the Provincial government and been successful in having the Land Transfer Tax rebate program to include resale housing. We also launched two Call to Action campaigns opposing the HST and the Mandatory Home Energy Audit. This resulted in nearly 50,000 emails to MPP’s and although we did not stop the HST we did achieve and amendment to the Green Energy Audit.

I love Political Action Days or PAC days as we affectionately call them. It is my chance to make a small contribution to the industry. It allows me to get personally involved in the political process and maintain my belief that together we can change the world, one small step at a time.

Second Annual Pictures With Santa

Please join Santa and me for a fun and festive day!

Complimentary snacks and hot coca will be served while you wait. Santa’s little helpers will send your photos to you before Christmas.

Please RSVP to www.PicturesWithSanta.ca

Event details:
Saturday, December 4th, 2010 at 2-4pm

Location: 215 Queen St East, Brampton (Queen & Kennedy, building beside Shopper’s Drug Mart) in the Party Room

GTA REALTORS® Report Mid-Month Resale Housing Market Figures

TORONTO, November 16, 2010 — Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,076 sales
through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) during the first two weeks of November

This represented a 16 per cent decrease compared to the 3,666 sales recorded during
the same period in November 2009. Year-to-date sales amounted to 78,526 – up
slightly from the 2009 total.

“The number of transactions remained high relative to new listings through the first half
of November, promoting a healthy rate of price growth compared to last year,” said
Toronto Real Estate Board President Bill Johnston.

The average price for November mid-month transactions was $437,554 – up more than
five per cent compared to the average of $415,066 recorded during the first 14 days of
November 2009.

“Mortgage payments on the average priced home remain affordable in the GTA based.
This is why the average selling price continues to increase,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s
Senior Manager of Market Analysis.